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Fire ignites a second time

Family’s Webster home, pets lost in blaze

Heavy smoke rolling out of the attic and eaves of the house greeted fire fighters the first time they responded. A missed hot spot necessitated their return several hours later, and this time firemen were met with large flames.

The Webster Fire Department was first called to the report of a house fire at approximately 12:10 p.m. Nov. 13 in the 100 block of W. 1st Ave. The Waubay and Roslyn fire departments assisted as part of standard procedure for structure fires, said Fire Chief Robert Kwasniewski. He said the call came in as a 911 dispatch.

Kwasniewski said fire fighters attempted a direct attack at first but quickly realized the heat was too intense and pulled the team out of the structure. They then attacked the fire from the outside, until the fire had been knocked down a little, he said.

Firemen were on the scene for a little over an hour, Kwasniewski said.

While no persons were injured in the fire, Kwasniewski said the bodies of three pets were recovered, two cats and a dog.

The cause of the fire has been undetermined at this point, Kwasniewski said, but added that the matter remains under investigation.

Flare up

Firemen were called back to the same house just a few hours after they left the scene the first time. Kwasniewski said they apparently missed a hot spot that was smoldering in the blown-in insulation in the attic.

When fire fighters arrived back on the scene around 4 p.m., he said they saw heavy flame coming from the upstairs windows. He said they went into a heavy defense from the outside before a four-man team entered the structure to attack the fire from the interior on the upper level.

Kwasniewski said he was concerned about the structural integrity of the home because of the extent of fire and water damage; blown-in insulation, he said, has a tendency to retain water and become heavy. He said a hole had burned through the floor on the second floor.

Once firemen had extinguished the flames this time, Kwasniewski said they worked at pulling all the blown-in insulation out of the attic. He said firemen had left the scene and had the trucks and equipment put away by 8 p.m. that night.

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